ICAS: New Brexit deal impacts business confidence



The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) has found in its latest poll of members that 54% do not think the latest Brexit deal is “positive” for business.

Bruce Cartwright, ICAS chief executive

The ICAS Brexit Tracker, in association with leading law firm Brodies LLP, is a quarterly snapshot of how chartered accountants (CAs) foresee the impact of Brexit on the UK.

Around 300 CAs responded to the 1 November poll.

Bruce Cartwright, CA, ICAS chief executive, said: “This is the eleventh tracker that we have now run and there continues to be significant uncertainty among our members regarding Brexit. Over time we have not seen an increase in preparedness for Brexit. In fact, in this latest tracker 68% of respondents say they are ‘prepared’ for a negotiated Brexit, compared with 75% in our previous tracker.”

About four in ten CAs said that they expect Brexit to take place by the Prime Minister’s latest deadline of 31 January. Slightly more (54% in total) said they thought it will be later than that, and 15% thought that Brexit will be cancelled altogether.

The preferred outcomes of Brexit in this winter survey have not changed significantly from the autumn survey, with 57% preferring the UK to remain in the single market compared with 60% in the autumn.

The general election was announced just as the survey was launched.

Christine O’Neill, chairman of Brodies LLP, said: “Given that attention has, understandably, turned to the forthcoming general election, it would be easy to lose track of the current Brexit deadline of 31 January 2020. However, I would urge everyone to stay alert and continue to consider the potential impacts of Brexit for their organisations – both in the context of a no-deal and an approved new deal.”



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